What if You Were the Norm?

16 Aug

Last night I had an epiphany of sorts.  I’m not sure how it took me so long
to remember this very simple fact but I feel like I have finally come back
around full circle.  I will get to my epiphany in a moment, but first I want to
thank someone.  Last night I was reading a blog by naughtymistress9 (click here if you would like to read it) it was here that I
found a book that I vaguely remember hearing something about a some point.  I
hit the local B&N this afternoon and picked up my copy of “Read My Hips” by
Kim Brittingham and while reading though the introduction I was whisked back to
my teenage years when my hips were the bane of my existence and I just felt
awful about myself.

Kim posed a question that I feel the need to pose here, in part out of
curiousity of the answers I will get and in part out of hope that I may help
that one person who has bought into the media perception of normal and
beautiful….

What would you do if you woke up
tomorrow morning to find that your body, the way it is right now, was considered
the ideal?

I took a moment to reflect on this question, after all I had asked myself
similar questions before but never quite phrased like this.  Imagine how
liberating it would feel to not have to worry about being the “outcast” in a
society of outcasts.

In the last few years I have prided myself on being the voice of reason among
my friends when it comes to the topic of dieting and self image.  Currently, my
best friend is on a diet, just the other day he told me how he got frustrated
because he got on the scale and despite multiple zumba and turbo kick classes
each week and being mindful of what time he ate and what he ate the scale still
read the same number it had at his last doctors visit.  I gently reminded him
that, if he doubted the results of his efforts he need only to look down at his
jeans which were baggy and beginning to sag off him and the belt that he had to
add a hole to because it was too big, that he needed to remember that his goal
was not to lose pounds but to gain health.

This same friend though, just 6 or 7 months ago wanted to start going to
zumba and losing weight because in his culture (he is gay) he is considered old
and fat.  I have battled with him and given him thousands of dirty looks when he
would “jokingly” point out the lap band billboards, I knew that he was strolling
down the wrong path, killing himself to look a certain way for the wrong
reason.  I wanted him to see what I saw when I looked at him, really, what I see
when I look at anyone who is considered one of us “outcasts” the wonderful,
beautiful person that they are.

I realize that is a loosing battle.

Once upon a time, my body was the ideal.  Shocking, I know, but it is the
truth.  Hips and thighs were a sign of wealth and beauty, they were desired,
they were lusted after.  Somewhere along the way, someone said it was ugly and
we all started killing ourselves to look like waifs and twigs.  Along the way
the media picked up on this and now we have a multi-billion dollar industry,
that however benevolent their intentions may be, thrives and flourishes on
making us believe that there is something wrong with us.  We were not born with
the diet instinct, when we are small we don’t notice the differences, its not
until someone close to us points out the “flaws” that we start to obsess with
changing something that was not broken to begin with.

I think, personally, if I were to wake up tomorrow and everything were as it
was all those years ago that not a whole lot would change for me.  I can only
hope that maybe I would not have as hard a time finding cute clothes (lets face
it, no one wants to look like they are wearing something made from the fabric of
their grandmothers couch).  That would make me happy, no, that would make me
giddy, I might even giggle like a school girl to be able to walk into a
Hollister and know that they had my size (and not like Walmart has my size but
only in baggy, over sized Eeyore t-shirts)

I would have to find something else to write about, I fear as no one would be
concerned about their weight, but that I think I could adjust to, after all I do
write about more that just size discrimination and acceptance.  I would move on
to my next cause, maybe animal cruelty or dating or just write pieces about the
government (after all, not everything can change, if it did it might be a world
gone mad).  Then again, I might write about all the people who didn’t fit into
the ideal and how their obsession with their appearance was slowly killing them
and that they should love themselves just as they are.  I am not so foolish to
think that just because the ideal shifted that that means that ignorance has
gone by the wayside.  Regardless of who does the bullying, discrimination will
always be present, bigotry and hatred are ingrained in us early on.

I think that maybe I might feel a sense of relief almost, like a weight had
been lifted off my shoulders, but only because then everyone would see what I
see, what I know about me….

Which brings me back to my epiphany.  Naughtymistress9 reminded me of
something that I had forgotten what seems like forever ago.  I have spent the
better part of the last year and a half trying to figure out why I seem to be
stuck in neutral and last night it dawned on me, the only thing that changed
between me now and me then is that I forgot this one simple fact:

I…..Am……Beautiful

I am and just as I am.  There is nothing wrong with
me and anyone who tells me otherwise is simply burdening me with their own
flawed self image and askewed impression of what beauty really is.  I have hips
and I have a belly and sometimes I jiggle just a little when I walk but all of
those things are a part of what makes me beautiful.  My stagnation has not been
because anything out there changed but only that, for a brief moment, I forgot
how much I am worth.  I have been so consumed by this urge to find the one that
I forgot that I am the only one I need, anyone else that comes along will only
serve to enhance who I am as I am there to enhance who they are.  Someone
tricked me into forgetting that there is nothing wrong with me and I spent the
next few years trying to fix something that was not broken.

So, thank you, naughtymistress9 and thank you Kim
Brittingham for helping me remember that I am a wonderful, sexy, vivacious,
warm, loving, imaginative, beautiful woman and my approval is the only one
sought for and needed.

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